John Gibson: Here’s the new west side story

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Golfing in the bleak mid-winter. Play in virtually all weathers. You’d have to be a nut to clown around with a club these days in these parts.

There are enough “clowns’’ about for Maurice McIlrick, below, to write a book about the courses in Edinburgh. Well, some of them. He discovered there are 37 in the west of the Capital alone. I said 37!

From Silverknowes to Canaan Lane. The list’s as long as your arm. Both arms. Maurice, 25 years a member at Ratho Park (15th on his list), is a retired electrical engineer with BP.

“If this volume, at £6.99, sells fairly well I’ll consider another volume,” says Maurice. “I enjoyed putting it together. You might call it a labour of love. It’s nice to say you’ve done a book.

“I’ve published it after a chum, Philip Knowles, encouraged me to get down to it, a book dealing with general information about all the courses in Edinburgh.”

Lord Provost George Grubb in his foreword says: “While St Andrews may claim to be the home of golf, Edinburgh may claim to be the capital city of golf. Within the city boundary we possibly have more courses than any other town of comparable size in the world.”

Maurice, still swinging at 82, lives in Corstorphine. He’s at 339 6838 and {mailto:|}. He is a guide at St Giles Cathedral and adds: “I don’t have any problems speaking.” Meaning he’ll talk at your club and with a pile of his books under his arm, Golfing in West Edinburgh.

Another volume? Go for it Maurice!

Afterwords . .

. . . My annual seasonal card from Cardinal Keith O’Brien again implored on the envelope KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS. Keith, I tried my best.